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Recipe: Scallops With Thai-Scented Pea Puree

I love the bouncy sweetness of scallops and, although you might think the equal sweetness of the peas would be too much alongside, the deep flavor of cilantro and chiles and the sharpness of lemongrass miraculously provided by the Thai green curry paste, make it a zingy and yet still comforting accompaniment. This is a real treat of a supper, both for the eater and the cook.


-1 pound (31/2 cups) frozen petits pois or peas

-1-2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste

-1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

-salt, to taste

-2 teaspoons peanut or other flavorless oil

-2 teaspoons butter

-6 big scallops (such as sold in shell by fishmongers) or 10–12 small bay scallops (such as sold in packages in the supermarket), preferably diver-caught

-juice 1 lime

-1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or Thai basil


-Cook the peas in boiling, slightly salted water until tender, then drain and tip into a blender, adding 1 tablespoon curry paste and the creme fraiche or sour cream. Season to taste with salt and perhaps add more curry paste, depending how strong it is.

-Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan until foamy, then fry the scallops for about 2 minutes per side. If you are using big scallops, then it is sometimes easier to cut them in half across. When they are cooked, they will have just lost their raw look in the middle and be lusciously tender, while golden and almost caramelized on the outside.

-Lift the scallops onto 2 warmed plates and then de-glaze the hot pan by squeezing in the lime juice. Stir to mix well and pick up every scrap of flavor, then pour this over the scallops on each plate.

-Dish up the pea puree alongside the scallops, and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro or Thai basil. Serve with another wedge of lime, if you feel like it.

Serves 2

Excerpted from Nigella Kitchen: Recipes From The Heart Of The Home by Nigella Lawson. Copyright 2010 by Nigella Lawson. Excerpted by permission of Hyperion.

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Nigella Lawson